Highlights from “Robots, AI, and the Future of Work” will be available next week. Look for a note in your inbox or find them at our still-feels-new website.
TTI/V meetings always include a few appearances by G-Ro suitcases, a crowdfunded carry-on luggage startup spearheaded by Advisory Board member Ken Hertz. Ken is back with the next generation G-Ro, the Six, a forward-push case named for its 6 wheels.
Whiskers make sense for cats, dogs, and many other animals—why not for drones as well? (David Hu, Pittsburgh, Jun 2019)
Newton's third law states, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. CRISPR is no exception. It turns out, the genetic mutation which enables humans to be HIV-resistant significantly increases the individual's likelihood of early mortality. So scientists attempting to solve for HIV will create a new problem: lower life expectancy. Newton gets the headline here but it is Darwinian theory that explains why this gene naturally occurs in only a small percentage of the population. And why we want to keep it that way. (Alicia Jackson, San Francisco, Dec 2015; George Church, Boston regional meeting, Jun 2015)
It’s hard to believe the NY Times had no obituary for such a towering figure in the histories of mathematics and ideas as Alan Turing, but it turns out the newspaper of record ignored his death—and those of many others, going back to 1851. To make up for the lapses, or perhaps just to garner some additional page views, it started a series, Overlooked, that last week added Turing to its roster. (Marvin Minsky, Atlanta, Feb 2008)
The methodology of using sound patterns to surveil data input might be modern (Michael Rubinstein, San Francisco, De 2015), but the concept has been alive and well for decades, as Eric Haseltine (Washington, D.C., Sep 2018; Charlotte, Dec 2010) expounds in his new book, The Spy in Moscow Station: A Counterspy’s Hunt for a Deadly Cold War Threat. If you want to hear more, Eric will be speaking at our September meeting. Steven Cherry recently went to a well-attended book reading at the home of Eric’s brother, William Haseltine (San Diego, Feb 2015; San Jose, February 2012).
For another story that has all the tropes of literary or techno intrigue—in this case, intellectual property theft, David outdoes Goliath, low-tech code, and, bizarrely, the subtleties of punctuation—consider the mysterious case of Google’s alleged theft of lyrics from Genius, which claims to have caught the search engine in a trap of clever steganographic Morse-codification of apostrophes.
Apple’s 2020 phones will have 5G—and any new 2019 phones won’t. (Robert Heath, David Reed, San Francisco, May 2016; Gordon Castle, Philadelphia, Jul 2015)
It is not surprising that TTI/V member FedEx would rather not allow one retailer to consume much of the delivery giant’s capacity. But any time a business essentially fires Amazon, it is bound to make headlines.
Would you ever name your cat “Chicken Whiskey”? How about “Checker Spin Donut Quin”? If these monikers do not appeal to you, we suggest that you not allow a neural net to name your feline friend. We’ll stick with Smokey and Felix for now ...
Speaking of names, Indiana University announced Friday the fastest university-owned supercomputer in the United States. The university has named its beloved purchase Big Red 200— somewhat inexplicably, as their last two supercomputers were “Big Red” and “Big Red II.” Regardless, you can label us excited to see how it enables new discoveries in AI and machine learning, for which existing supercomputers are also being optimized. (Amanda Randles, San Diego, Feb 2015; Satoshi Matsuoka, Tokyo, Jul 2012; Larry Smarr, San Diego, Nov 2002 and McLean, Nov 1995; Richard Schroth, Boston, April 1992)
"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of old ones."